The alarm goes off on Sunday morning and you begrudgingly roll out of bed. You know you have to get this workout in. “It’s an important one,” Coach says. But wasn’t yesterday’s important? And the one before that? You’re tired and your muscles are aching. After this ride you won’t get to lay back on the couch all day. The responsibilities of the world seem to be weighing on you. You’ll have to mow the lawn, stop by the store, cook dinner, and oh yeah…prep for that meeting on Monday morning. Can’t forget that one. You hardly remember the person who set this goal many months ago, but you’re in deep now. There’s no turning back. You have to see it through.
You slurp down some oatmeal and there’s no more stalling to be had. You walk over to the Voler kit perfectly laid out on your dresser from the night before. You can’t help but smile at the design across the jersey that you so carefully picked out. This kit has a little piece of you in it. It’s seen the hard work. While training buddies have come and gone, this kit has been there day in and day out, for every interval, hill repeat, and long ride. Your brain has been conditioned to know that once this kit goes on your body, it’s go time. Sitting there, on the dresser, it’s calling to you. It’s reminding you why you started this goal to start with. The idea of your interval workout sounds daunting, but somehow the idea of putting this kit on feels enticing. You want to feel powerful.
As you de-robe, you shed the doubts and insecurities of the morning and as the fabric slides over your skin, it’s replaced with a fiery desire to conquer this session.
Your arms slide into the sleeves of your Voler kit and as you watch each tooth in the zipper mesh to meet its match, you’re transformed into the athlete you always dreamed you would be. You’ve transformed into some sort of super-athlete.
As you sit on your saddle the chamois forms to your body and you feel all at once completely one with your bike; no longer human and machine, but a unit working in harmony.
You’re wearing the same kit as professional racers so why shouldn’t you ride like one, too? Suddenly you’re not just completing your workout but, in your mind, you’re racing against the best in the world, and in your own little stretch of road, in the early hours of the morning, you’re beating those racers, too.
When the workout becomes challenging and sweat begins to drip from your brow, you turn to wipe your face on your sleeve and you once again catch sight of your beautiful Voler jersey; one that reminds you of your “why.” It gives you the power to dig a little deeper.
When the work is done and you’re riding home from your workout, you pass by other riders starting their own. They wave. While you might be too shy to wave back on some days, the confidence you feel in this Voler kit, allows you to throw your hand up off of the bars, with a full-hearted wave and even a holler of “Hello!” as you pass by. You feel like you belong. You feel like a cyclist. You feel like the best version of yourself.
As you roll back into the drive way you can’t help but pause and pump your fists in the air as if you just won the race. You were victorious, after all.
As you walk upstairs to shower you begin to unzip your jersey, and pause for a moment. This feels like the cape of a superhero. The power seems wrapped up in the fibers of the material and woven in its intricate design. You hold your shoulders back more and you hold your chin higher when it’s on. Rumor has it, you even grow an inch. “Why should I only feel invincible when riding my bike?” you think. Maybe I’ll wear my kit while I mow the lawn.
A note from Hannah Otto – I wrote this piece because of not only the way my kit makes me feel, but because of the way that Voler makes me feel. Made in the USA and designed by people that I have direct contact with, my kit holds a special meaning. In moments of weakness, I can look down at my kit and hear the voices of Brian, Brad, and Tim at Voler cheering me on. It gives me a boost; it gives me superpowers. It’s my hope every athlete can experience that feeling when they don a Voler kit.